LAS VEGAS (Nov. 10) — Goodyear´s Dunlop brand is seeking to enhance its performance image with the launch of pure-bred race tires under the Direzza brand name.
Dunlop unveiled the Direzza GRP street-legal drag race tire and Direzza bias-ply drag slick at the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, where its booth focused on high performance.
The Direzza GRP is for entry- and mid-level racers while the drag slick is available in both front- and rear-wheel-drive versions for pro drag racers in the sport compact and custom race car classes, such as those sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association, International Drag Racing Association and Number One Parts Inc.
The tires, to be made at Goodyear´s race tire plant at its Akron Technical Center, will be available starting in early 2006 through authorized race tire distributors, Goodyear said.
Dunlop also broadened to range of the Direzza DZ101 — "a performance tire with no manners," according to Andy Traicoff, director of Dunlop marketing in North America — to 34 sizes to replace the FM901 line for sport-compact tuners. Engineered and built in Japan for sport compact tuner cars, the Direzza Z101 is targeted at the fast-growing vehicle personalization segment — i.e., those who bolt on aftermarket parts to make a statement.
According to Dunlop research, auto enthusiasts buy up to 10 percent of U.S. replacement tires — 22.5 million tires — to upgrade sport compacts.